Gerunds and infinitives are very common in the English language. We use them in many situations. Sometimes, we can use both of them in the same situation, sometimes we must use only a gerund and sometimes only an infinitive. If we use the gerund form in the place of infinitive form, it is wrong.
So today we shall learn
- What is a gerund?
- Uses of the gerund.
- What is Infinitive?
- Uses of an infinitive.
What is Gerund?
A gerund is a form of any verb when we use it as a Noun and at the same time as a Verb.
See the following sentences,
Kamal: What do you love doing?
Ripon: I love reading books and playing cricket. [Here, Reading and Playing are Gerund]
Here the question is What, So the answer should be a Noun. You know, Read and Play are Verbs. These verbs are used as the answer to What. So they should be a Noun. When we use a Verb as a Noun, we use Gerund
Gerund = Verb + ing
Uses of Gerund
Now, I’ll discuss 5 situations where you should use a gerund.
1. As a Noun
Gerunds and infinitives can replace a noun in a speech.
2. As a Subject
Gerunds can be used as a subject of a speech. (Subject = Gerund)
- Walking is good for our health.
- Making friends has become more difficult since I moved to a new college.
3. As an Object
Both Gerunds and Infinitives can be used as objects of speech.
- I enjoy hiking.
- Today, I decided to draw.
4. After Some Verbs:
The gerund is used after some verbs: stop, start, enjoy, discuss, postpone, fancy, dislike, mind, suggest, admit, finish, recommend, avoid, appreciate, complete, consider, miss, practice, risk, busy, keep, avoid, etc.
- Advice: I advise thinking the matter again
- Admit: We admitted changing the time of the meeting
- Avoid: He avoided looking me in the eye.
- Consider (think about): I considered taking silent, but I had to tell her.
- Deny: I denied knowing about his secret.
- Involve: The course involved writing three tests.
- Mention (say something): She mentioned seeing my brother at a baseball game.
- Recommend: I recommend practicing gerunds and infinitives.
- Risk: Don’t risk losing your job!
- Suggest: I suggest reading more English short stories.
5. After Preposition
Only gerunds are used after prepositions. (Preposition + Gerund )
- I made dinner before getting home.
- He looked unhappy after seeing his work schedule.
- He looks forward to meeting his cousins.
What is Infinitive?
Now, what if I ask you what you want to do a holiday? Maybe you are learning to draw. Else you want to do is to read storybooks. Or maybe you are planning to start your own business. These are all samples of infinitives. In that case, we used infinitives to describe them.
Now that you know the difference between gerunds and infinitives. Our simple rules are sure to help! Let’s start by explaining what gerunds and infinitives are.
Uses of Infinitive
Infinitive= to + the base form of the verb, e.g., to sing, to dance, to run. Whether you use a gerund or an infinitive depends on the main verb in the sentence. I expect to have the results of the operation soon. (Infinitive)
After Objects: Infinitives are used after sentence objects that are nouns or pronouns referring to a person.
We asked her not to go.
After Verbs: Infinitives can be used after certain verbs including:
agree, ask, decide, help, plan, hope, learn, want, would like, promise, claim, desire, afford, allow, intend, manage, deserve, know, pretend, need, offer, try, refuse, prepare, learn, wish, fail, seem, promise, want.
Here are a few examples of verbs that need to be followed by an infinitive:
- Agree: I agreed to go to a party with my friend.
- Decide: The president decided not to participate in the discussions.
- Deserve: Everyone deserves to be respected.
- Expect: I expect to know my exam grade by tomorrow.
- Hope: We were hoping to avoid traffic by leaving early.
- Learn: He learned not to trust anyone.
- Need: She needs to learn how to cook.
- Offer: I offered to help my brother with homework.
- Plan: We are planning to watch a movie tonight.
- Promise: My friend promised to find the time to help me move.
- Seem: We seem to be lost.
- Wait: I cannot wait to see my family.
- Want: I don’t want to go to bed yet.
There are lots of verbs that require an infinitive after. You will learn them naturally, as you progress in your English studies.
After Adjectives: Infinitives should be used After many adjectives:
- It is hard to make dinner this late.
- I find it difficult to describe my feelings about writing research essays.
To show purpose:
- I left for Russia to study Russian.
- I came to the office to solve the mystery of the missing keys.
Maybe Gerunds and infinitives are confusing but they make your English speech more elegant and colorful. It is very necessary to study them and practice using them correctly. The more you notice them (gerunds and infinitives) in your study of the English language, the easier it will get!
Sometimes you will be unsure if you need to use an infinitive or a gerund in a speech. In that case, try to change the sentence and say what you want to say in a varied way.